Queensland mines get safer

INJURIES reported in Queensland mines over the past three years have decreased by 40% despite the increased numbers of workers.

Staff Reporter

Although almost an additional 10,000 people being employed by the mining industry, 278 injuries were recorded last financial year (2004-05) compared to 449 injuries reported in 2001-02.

"Again last financial year there was a reduction in lost time injuries despite another significant increase in the number of people working in the industry," Natural Resources and Mines minister Henry Palaszczuk said.

Over the same three-year period the number of people directly employed in the mining industry has increased from 17,636 to 27,380. The coal industry suffered two fatalities in 2004-05, after three years without a fatality.

"The number of days lost per injury has steadily grown from 15.6 days per injury in 2000-2001 to 22.8 days per injury in 2004-2005," Palaszczuk said.

State Parliament has unanimously supported the State Government’s moves to strengthen the Mines Inspectorate, which include attracting appropriately qualified people with skills in fields such as occupational health and safety and inspection instead of being restricted to people with engineering qualifications.